You have heard it said that a bad habit is hard to break. So, how do you develop good habits? I think you need to first start with an awareness. We lie to ourselves more then any other person. In fact, there is a quote I heard once that really struck with me: “Excuses are lies that you tell yourself.”
Are you using excuses in your life? Many of us think that good intentions will get us where we want to be eventually, but nothing could be further then the truth. Andy Stanley in his new book The Principle of the Path talks about this very thing.
The actual direction you are facing is where you will end up in life and that direction is the sum of all your choices. In my Simple Life Formula, I point out that the first step in life is to choose your desired destination. You need to get clear on where you are going because you are going somewhere whether you want to or not.
Out of my own experience, I have come to realize that there are 3 keys to creating a new habit in my life.
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1. Focus on only one good habit
This is both the hardest and best thing you will ever do. Choose only one habit. Resist the urge to organize your whole life in one swoop. It is just not practical. You will fail and become quickly discouraged. Mini victories is the key to lasting momentum.
Decide that you are going to select one habit and that will be your one focus for the next 30 days or more. How will you know when it is time to add another good habit? When the first habit is a must in your life.
If you start a second habit and then slack off the first, you are moving too soon. Pick one and attack it with focused intensity.
2. Fight the habit gravity
What most of us fail to realize is that it is always the hardest in the beginning. Starting a new habit is no different then fighting gravity in the beginning. The sooner that you accept that it will be a uphill climb the better off you will be.
The hit show the Biggest Loser is a perfect example. They know the moment they step on the campus that they are not on vacation. It will be the most difficult few months they have ever experienced but the payoff is huge.
Such is true with anything in life. Embrace the struggle. Go ahead and decide that you are going to push through anyway. Expect the gravity to be there, say hello and make it your friend. The good news is the gravity does get lighter.
3. Build on the downhill momentum
It is a beautiful thing to get to the top of the hill and start gaining some momentum on the way down. That is what will happen to you financially, relationally, and physically if you stay with it.
That large boulder is hard but you will reach the other side. Momentum comes only with focused intensity. That is why it is so important for you to start with just one habit.
Go try it this week. Pick one good habit, embrace the struggle, and work for momentum.
Question: How do you develop good habits in your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.